The Washington Nationals continue to add pitching today claiming lefthander Gary Lee Hyde off the Atlanta Braves roster and optiioned him to AAA-Syracuse.
Hyde, 26, split last season between AA-Mississippi and AAA-Gwinnett, two cities with the most double letters combined -5. He was 2-3 with a 2.95 ERA in 29 games and recorded 8 saves before a July promotion to AAA-Gwinnett where he went 2-3 with a 4.29 ERA in 22 games.
The native of Atlanta, Georgia was the Braves 4th selection in the 2006 June draft by current Nationals Director of Scouting Roy Clark. He missed much of the 2007 season and part of the 2008 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Lee joins lefties Attie Severino, Matt Chico and Ron Villone in the Chiefs camp.
In other news former New York Mets lefthander Oliver Perez signed a minor league contract with the Nationals today and joined them in their minor league complex in Viera, Florida.
Perez, 29, has spent the past two years with the Mets. He has also pitched for the Pirates and will work with his former pitching coach and current Nationals Minor League pitching instructor Spin Williams.
With the Mets paying all of Perez’s 12 million dollar salary this season, the Nationals believe that if Williams can work his magic with the fallen pitcher it will be worth the gamble.
A few more news and notes from Spring Training 2011 in Florida….
* The last Chiefs pitcher to toss a nine inning no-hitter – Mike Pazik now a scout with the White Sox was seen at Space Coast Stadium taking in Nationals games this week.
* Former Chiefs outfielder Justin Maxwell now with the Yankees has a new batting stance – this time very similar to Alex Rodriguez. Maxwell still in camp with the Yankess has made an impression on manager Joe Girardi and could make the team as an extra outfielder.
* Righthander Ryan Tatusko who came to Syracuse in January for the Chiefs 50th Hot Stove Dinner is turning some heads in Nationals Minor League Camp and could be with the Chiefs in April.
* Infielders a plenty - Nationals have first baseman Chris Marrero, Mike Aubrey and Kevin Barker in minor league camp as well as infielders Seth Bynum, Chris McConnell, Alex Cintron and Matt Antonelli are in the mix for 2B, SS and 3B while Brian Bixler is still batting for a spot at the major league camp.
* Outfielders too - With Corey Brown, Jeff Frazier, Buck Coats, Jonathan Van Every and Boomer Whiting all playing for the AAA club it will be interesting to see if the Nationals send either Nyger Morgan or Roger Bernadina to the Chiefs or possibly both.
* Nats believe Syracuse pitching staff could be really good. Already in minor league camp are JD Martin, Shairon Martis, Garrett Mock, Luis Atilano, Adam Carr, Cole Kimball, Atie Severino.
With Jason Benetti and Kevin Brown back in Syracuse, they have left me to keep you updated on the comings and goings of Spring Training 2011.
* Tigers defeated the Nationals Monday afternoon at Space Coast Stadium 4-2. In the game former Chiefs manager Garth Iorg’s son Cale Iorg doubled in a run and played flawless at shortstop for the Tigers. Look for Cale to begin the season with the Mud Hens.
* Another former Chief’s son, Patrick Leyland, (son of Jim Leyland) caught the final three innings.
* Today (Tuesday) was able to catch the Blue Jays and Phillies in lovely Dunedin, Florida. Phils had most of their starters on hand and former Chiefs Pete Orr and Michael Martinez played in the later innings. Both have a chance to be with the Phillies on opening day after injuries to Chase Utley and Placido Polanco.
* Visted the Chiefs former winter home for 31 years – Englebert Recreational Complex and took in a few innings of their AAA and AA games. Former Chiefs still with Toronto include Doug Davis (Minor League Field Coordinator), Dane Johnson (Minor League Pitching Coordinator), Omar Malave (Gulf Coast League Manager), Jim Czjawski (Pitching Coach at Vancouver-rookie) who was the winning pitcher in the first game ever at then P&C Stadium on April 6th, 1997. Dennis Holmberg will be in Bluefield-rookie and big Sal Fasano will be in AA-New Hamphsire all came over to say hello.
* Former Chiefs outfielder in 2009-10 Leonard Davis is in the Jays camp trying to catch make the AAA-Las Vegas team, closer to his California home.
* Off to Legends Field on Wednesday to see former Chiefs outfielder Justin Maxwell and Chiefs Wall of Famer Ron Guidry who is in camp as an instructor.
Just four weeks until the Home Opener in Syracuse…..
The Washington Nationals begin spring training exhibition games this afternoon as the take on the New York Mets in St. Luce, FL. Game time is 1:05 PM with coverage beginning at 1:00 PM on SNY – channel 54 on Time Warner Cable.
Seven former Chiefs players will be in manager Jim Rigglemans lineup that includes:
Nyger Morgan CF
Ian Desmond SS
Roger Bernadina LF
Mike Morse RF
Matt Stairs DH
Wilson Ramos C
Kevin Barker 1B
Danny Espinosa 2B
Jerry Hairiston JR 3B
Chad Gaudin P
The Nationals take on the same New York Mets tomorrow when they open their home slate at Space Coast Stadium at 1:00 PM.
The three greatest words ever – “Pitchers and Catchers”. well at least to a baseball fan they are. The Washington Nationals 2011 edition of pitchers and catchers arrived on Tuesday and we thought that we would take a look at who’s in camp.
From the start it looks like Chien-Ming Wang and Stephen Strasburg will begin the season on the disabled list with Wang expected back in April or May. The Nats also slected two players in the rule 5 draft in December – righthanders Brain Broderick and Elvin Ramirez. Both players have not reached the AAA-level as of yet and would be long shots to make the team.
Starting Pitching: Jim Riggleman named Livan Hernandez the teams Opening Day pitcher with Jordan Zimmermann, Jason Marquis and lefty John Lannan expected to fill out 1-4. The battle for the fifth spot would likely go to Cuban defector Yunesky Maya, who has experience and was the best pitcher in the Domincan Winter League.
Tom Gorzelanny, Chad Gaudin along with Garrett Mock, Ross Detwiler, Craig Stammen could also challenge Maya for the final spot as well.
Lefthanded relief pitchers: Sean Burnett and Doug Slaten did a great job for the Nationals last season and will likely be counted on again. Tom Gorzelanny pitched in relief with the Cubs last season and could end up in pen, Atahualpa Severino is the only other lefty on the roster.
Righthanded relief pitchers: Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen also were impressive last season and will battle off-season pick-up Henry Rodriguez for the closers role. Todd Coffey was also signed and has been solid with the Brewers and Reds over the past five seasons. Chad Gaudin, Cla Meredith are veterans while Collin Balester was un-hittable in his September call-up last season.
The Nationals have Garrett Mock, Craig Stammen, Luis Atilano, J.D. Martin, Joe Bisenius, Tim Wood and hard throwers Adam Carr and Cole Kimball also in camp.
Add Sharon Martis, minor league pitcher of the year Tom Milone, Josh Wilkie last season starters Matt Chico and Erik Arnesen and you can see why Chiefs pitching Coach Greg Booker should be excited about the 2011 season.
Spring Training is just a week away for pitchers & catchers and with the weather outside less than appealing to the baseball fan we thought we would give you an up-date on former Chiefs listed on major league rosters as non-roster invitees.
A non-roster invitee is not listed on the 40 man roster and usually is assigned numbers in the 60′s or 70′s. He’s usually the first player cut or he is a veteran who waited too long to sign his contract and is desperate for a job.
Anyway, here’s the up-to-the minute list, less of course the parent Washington Nationals:
Boston-Jason Bergmann, Hector Luna
Chicago (AL)-Lastings Milledge
Chicago (NL)-Reed Johnson
Los Angeles (AL)-Kevin Melillo
Minnesota-Chase Lambin, Chuck James
Philadelphia-Erik Kratz, Peter Orr
New York (NL)-Mike O’Connor, Russ Adams, Willie Harris
New York (AL)-Gustavo Molina
Tampa Bay-Felipe Lopez, Ray Olmedo
Texas-David Bush, Kevin Cash, Zach Jackson
San Diego-Guillermo Quiroz, Gregg Zaun
Toronto-WilLedezma, Corey Patterson
San Francisco-Brad Eldred
Enjoy Ft. Myers, Florida, Jason Bergmann.
Its February and Spring training is just two weeks away and down in the warm tropics of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico the Carribean World Series is taking place.
From February 2nd thru the 7th the Tournament features teams from host country Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
Former Chiefs players Luis Figueroa (PR), Michael Martinez (DR), Hugo Castellanos (Mex), Saul Rivera (PR), and Gustavo Molina (VZ) are participating.
2011 Free Agent Nationals players Kevin Barker (DR), Alex Cora (PR) and Edgardo Baez (PR) are also on rosters.
The Washington Nationals added outfiedler Archie Gilbert to their minor league organization signing him as a free agent.
Gilbert, 27 began his career in the Red Sox organization in 2005 and played the next two seasons in the White Sox organization where he batted. .332 and .289 while stealing 70 bases in 153 games.
He moved to the Athletics organization in 2008 and batted .278 with 35 stolen bases for the third consecutive season at A-Stockton. The past two years he has played for AA-Midland.
Last season he batted only .247 but increased his extra base hit numbers from 24 to 43 and stole 28 bases.
The Nationals also resigned righthanded pitcher Jimmy Barthmaier and assigned him their AAA-Syracuse roster.
Barthmaier, 27 was orginally drafted by the Houston Astros in the 13th round of the 2003 June Amateur Draft.
He made 16 starts for Indinapolis in 2008 before an injury sidelined him for all of 2009. He began the 2010 season with the Pirates organization before being released after seven appearances.
Picked up by the Nationals he pitched in four games with the Nationals Gulf Coast League team and pitched in nine games (5 starts) for Potomac toward the end of the season.
The Washington Nationals continue to bolster their AAA-roster by adding veteran first baseman Kevin Barker and infielder Alex Valdez.
Barker, 35 played three seasons for the Chiefs from 2005-2007 and averaged 20 home runs and 80 RBI during that period. He has played 15 seasons of professional baseball beginning in 1996 and has slugged 260 home runs at the minor league level.
He ranks 8th all-time with 59 home runs as a Chiefs player and 11th with 232 RBI
The Virginia native has played in the International League with Louisville (1998-1999 & 2008-2009), Syracuse (2005-2007), Indianapolis (2000-2001) and Scranton (2004).
Last season he appeared in 80 games with Veracruz of the Mexican League and batted .291 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI.
Valdez, 25, has spent the past seven years with the Oakland Athletics organization after signing as a free agent in 2004.
Last season at AA-Midland he batted .262 with 13 home runs and 74 RBI in 134 games. He appeared in one game for AAA-Sacramento in 2009.